A Community-based monitoring system for peat swamp forest restoration

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The Indonesian government has launched an initiative to restore degraded peat swamp forests across various provinces in the country, in response to extensive damage resulting from deforestation, drainage and fires. Monitoring is important for evaluating the success of restoration activities, but has so far been challenged by the expense of equipment, which limits the possibilities of undertaking large-scale monitoring, as well as demonstrating restoration impact at local scale. Community-based monitoring systems have been proposed as an alternative to conventional systems, involving the local community so as to decrease costs, increase monitoring area coverage, and measure the impact of restoration activities on ground water levels and soil moisture. This study explored the potential to involve the local community in monitoring the impact of peatland restoration activities, with technological support to log measurements of ground water levels and peat moisture into online database systems.

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